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Shemp Howard

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Birth Name:  Samuel Horwitz
Born:  March 4, 1895 in Brooklyn, New York, USA
Died:  November 22, 1955 in Hollywood, California, USA
Cause of Death:  Heart Attack


Biography:  Everybody knows him for being one of "The Three Stooges", but Shemp also had a prolific film career of his own.  He had a bit part in only one Blondie movie, #18 Blondie Knows Best from 1946.

    Shemp's tenure with the Three Stooges was overall well-received, but he was certainly under attack by some fans and critics who were used to seeing brother Curly as "the third Stooge".  What's ironic is that Moe, Larry, and Shemp were the original Stooges line-up while back-up men for comedian Ted Healey.  Curly became the third Stooge when Shemp bowed out due to personal conflicts with Healey.  When the Stooges became popular enough to start appearing in movies, Moe, Larry, and Curly became the line-up that everyone got to know.

    After Curly's stroke, Shemp joined the Stooges on what was supposed to be a temporary basis.  Curly never did fully recover, and Shemp became a permanent fixture after Curly's death.  Shemp made some remarkable shorts with the Stooges, some of them retoolings of Curly-era shorts.  But the Three Stooges productions, via Columbia Pictures, started getting lower-budget AND rushed, resulting in some poorly-made shorts.  A lot of the criticism aimed toward Shemp-era Stooges movies was not deserved as he was simply a victim of the times.

    There are MANY people who think that Shemp was, indeed, the funniest Stooge.  But Curly WAS a hard act to follow, that was for sure.  I enjoy both Curly and Shemp's Stooges films.

    I think Shemp was even better in his non-Stooges work.  He has a significant role with Mary Wickes in the musical comedy "Private Buckaroo" that cannot be missed!